I was not acknowledging the cramps because they are a part of life, like the wind, the rains, the soil, the leaves…
When I could philosophize no more, and I checked my phone after what seemed to be a lifetime, I realized it had been at least three hours since I went to bed, I was still wide awake, with no sign of sleep whatsoever.
I’ll tell you what, I hate periods. They suck, they suck so bad! But why am I writing a blog post about it? A post that would be read by many, out of whom only a few would acknowledge they read it, the rest would either be uncomfortable or criticize it. And guess what, some would even find some perverse pleasure because I refer here to a natural process in female body. To each her/his own. I write this because it is now 4:08 in the morning and I haven’t had sleep thanks to my periods.
At times they bless my life with cramps, which – as I found out while growing- is a part and parcel of being a woman and most of them around me just deal with it quietly, without any complaints, so I started doing the same. No complaints, accept it.
But, I can’t.
It spoils my day, I think about it, I fail to ignore it, that aching which sustains through the day, gives some relief in the evening, and suddenly returns at night to haunt me till dawn.I keep lying on the bed, I turn, form a ball out of myself, try funny positions to reduce the pain, completely stressing out and losing sleep. But guess what, I need to be quiet about it, because I am a woman and I am down, I am supposed to hide this from the world- if possible in newspaper or black polythene bag- go for a meeting when I am feeling dead, complete assignments because this cannot be a reason, and now with sanitary napkins that have wings and perfume, I should feel relaxed and energetic too. I don’t, I just feel angry. I shudder to think that I have a privilege of using sanitary napkin, which incidentally also could be harmful to me, but what about the majority who don’t?
Today was even worst, I ornamented the bed sheet. I could sense that awful moment, which I always try so hard to avoid, which gets me paranoid if there is a sleepover when I am down, yes it happened today. I rushed to the washroom to clean it immediately lest someone saw me do so. Oh the shame! How would I face my family!
I cannot believe it that I have to be so traumatized by something which is just obvious. But I feel so every time.
When I was studying at school, I would be scared to death if I had to wear a white skirt in “those” days. I would keep checking, avoid sitting for long, or tie my sweater by my waist such that it covers the skirt from behind- double double protection , from whom? Fellow females in a Girls’ school. That was my level of ignorance, ignorance is gone but the trauma sustains.
I remember having a leakage at my uncle’s place. It was the second time I had had my periods and I did not realize what happened until I got up to leave with my cousin. I heard a loud gasp from my relatives and saw shame reflected in the eyes of loved ones. The white sofa cover displayed a bright – or was it dark- red spot. I thought I would die. I remember shivering with fear. My cousin brother tried to cheer me up with video game but the harm was done . I never again sat on anything with a light shade when down, never again. Even today when I find that incident trivial, I still get reminded of that shame when I see a white bed sheet or sofa cover, even cushions, and am asked to relax, how can I relax?
It took me years to first talk about that incident, which I did not with my mother but my friends. I remember sitting on the park bench and revealing my most shameful memory to them, where they couldn’t believe it that I had allowed this to bother me at all. I am glad I spoke to them, If today I lead a semi-normal life during menstruation, its thanks to that conversation.
Well, its still dark outside, a beautiful night spoilt by pain and stress, but now I seem to be enjoying the sounds of the birds and the breeze. Maybe I would go for an early walk, and start a normal day, as if nothing happened, because actually nothing did, right?